Following their 2016 EP, Volumes Monochrome is Academie’s third single in a series of five – the first two of which were the tracks Battles and Eyes. Capturing the yearning for real connection, Monochrome is hushed, textured and meditative modern pop music that draws immediate comparisons with St. Vincent, Beach House and even the ethereal, enigmatic, contemplations of the Cocteau Twins. The sense of humankind’s dislocation from one another is clearly reflected in Academie’s broader examination of twenty-first century living, through the prism of songs.
Emerging out of the exacting urban milieu of Johannesburg, South Africa, Academie create music that is transfixing and transcendent. Combined with an arresting aesthetic and intensely conceived performance, the duo of Jean-Louise and Alex Parker conjure up soundscapes that push the frontiers of pop music. In their self-contained musical world – where pre-recorded samples, vocal reverb and loops are as central to the sound as the viola, guitar and saxophone – the two multi-instrumentalists, highly regarded in South Africa’s music industry for their wide-ranging musicality, create a perfect balance of dark and light.